Well, we’re back from the United States and we’ve had a wonderful time, but just to show that it wasn’t all holidays, here are 7 lessons from some forward thinking businesses who are delivering Dramatically and Demonstrably Different customer experiences which are worth sharing. They’re things I’ve noticed, things I’ve experienced and things that just made me think. Do with them what you will, but I’d like to think that some are worth exploring and working out what they mean for you, your business and importantly, your customers!
1. HQ Trivia Live
This is an ‘app that mimics the format of a TV quiz show on your phone! You simply log in with a chance to win $10,000 by answering a series of questions each with three answers. Get the question right and you’re into the next round. The quiz consists of 12 rounds and all those that get to the 12th and answer it correctly, gets a share of the prize money. It runs twice a day and it’s hosted ‘live’ and it’s very addictive. When the alarm went off each day on our friend’s phone to tell us it was starting, everything stopped and we got ‘focused’!
The good news, we have discovered on return that there’s a UK version – you can get it at the Apple Store!
3D Lesson: Be easy to buy from and deal with – make things accessible, easy to use, fun and interactive.
Lyft is a direct competitor to Uber and we found it somehow ‘friendlier’ and ‘easier to use’ than the business that it is clearly ‘challenging’. Talking to those ‘friendlier’ drivers, they seemed to prefer Lyft (many do work for both) and one of the reasons is that the ‘app allows you to tip the driver easily as part of the paying process after the ride. As a customer, it was their responsiveness that really stood out. We did have one driver who’s driving skills did seem a little dodgy (she wasn’t brilliant at following ‘sat nav’ instructions!), but she did get us to our location OK.
I only rated her 3 out of 5 and within minutes I received a message with an apology and a request for more information as to why I’d scored her so low. I explained and said it wasn’t a big deal, but it hadn’t been as good as our previous drivers. Another apology came through, along with a $10 discount on our next ride! Apparently, this $1 Billion turnover business are on their way to London soon – Uber lookout!
3D Lesson: ‘Deal with Disappointment’ and keep your customers happy – especially if you are challenging well established competitors.
3. Wholey’s Market
Wholey’s Market is a well established family business that was founded back in 1912 and is in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Strip. Their mission is to create happy customers by selling the freshest product at the best prices, in a friendly, fun atmosphere. They sell the finest and freshest seafood, fish, meat, and poultry available and do it with a great customer experience that is most definitely ‘fun’. It’s clear that they have a total customer focus and do everything they can to create those happy customers.
There’s free local parking, a curbside pick up service, free recipes, incredibly friendly staff, and feedback forms to check how happy you are, but that’s just the start! They have some ‘Dramatically and Demonstrably Different‘ approaches including a free sea food school every Saturday morning to learn how to cook your fish properly, a Live Lobster Catch where customers who buy a lobster get a chance to keep all the lobsters they can catch and hold in a minute… and a talking cow (which I obviously had to video!)
3D Lesson: Create outstanding customer experiences to stand out from the crowd.
4. ZAPPOS (AND JOHN’S CRAZY SOCKS!)
We visited Zappos and the whole experience was amazing. I wrote a previous article with 40 Lessons Learned, so if you’ve not read it yet, I suggest you give it a good look – there’s no more to say about these guys except that this is a business that truly ‘walks the talk’ when it comes to amazing customer experiences by completely engaging their people.
If you like that, you might also want to check out our lessons from our visit to the fabulous 3D Business, John’s Crazy Socks, who build customer happiness into everything they do.
3D Lesson: It’s all about creating a ‘culture’ that engages, empowers and enables your people
The clue’s in the name! BAGBNB is like AirBNB, but for your luggage! They are an international luggage storage network present in over 25 Countries and over 100 cities worldwide.
We arrived in New York and needed somewhere to store our luggage for the day and found their website! We simply signed up, looked for the nearest convenient drop off point on the website, booked it in, paid our $6 and we’re sorted!
We dropped the bags off at an Italian cafe just off 42nd Street and we were free to travel around New York for the rest of the day until we picked them before getting our lift out to JFK airport!
3D Lesson: Create a seamless, simple customer offer that does the job!
7. Heart Attack Grill
The Heart Attack Grill is a hospital themed restaurant in downtown Las Vegas and offers an unhealthy diet of incredibly large hamburgers. Customers are invited to weigh themselves on electronic scales before you go in and apparently those who weigh over 350 pounds are invited to unlimited free food!
The menu includes the Single Bypass Burger, Double Bypass Burger, Triple Bypass Burger, and all the way to the Octuple Bypass Burger! These dishes range in weight from half a pound to four pounds of beef! There’s also Flatliner Fries which are cooked in pure lard and a hot dog called the Coronary Dog. They do, of course, serve full sugar Coca-Cola and Butterfat Milkshakes!
To ‘Demonstrate‘ their ‘Dramatic Difference‘, they are very proud of their Guinness World Record Most Calorific Burger which has a caloric content of 9,983 calories!
It’s certainly not the most ‘politically correct’ restaurant and is not aimed at everyone…. but that’s the point! They’ve dared to ‘break the rules’ and offer a real alternative to a specific group of customers. (As someone who’s had a triple heart bypass,I’m probably not one of them!)
3D Lesson: Don’t just ‘break the rules’, but ‘create the rules’ and use this to differentiate your business!
So, to conclude, our experience suggests that 3D Businesses strive to create ‘delighted’ customers – Not ‘have a nice day’, or ‘buy one get one free’ gimmicks, but going the extra mile and ‘exceeding customer expectations’. By definition, this subsequently raises customer expectations – 3D Businesses relish and embrace this, and work hard to raise the bar.
They make their customers feel ‘valued’ and ‘devoted’ to the business – they have high expectations and consistently receive a great experience (‘great’ as defined by the customers, not the business!). These are customers who come back for more and tell others. It starts with being ‘easy to buy from’ and ‘easy to deal with’ in every customer interaction and it means everyone focusing on customers wherever they are in the business.
All these businesses are taking a 3D approach to creating great customer experiences… and are all doing it in different ways! And that’s the point – Your challenge is to work out what you can do to make it work in your business. Click on the image to get the free e book Customer Delight As Competitive Advantage to help you do it.